The first time Gus Sarkodee was introduced to a camera was in high school at Tema International School (TIS) by one of his teachers in art class, and that peaked his already existing love for stunning visuals; leading to him to develop an interest in photography.
An aesthete obsessed with making things look good, Gus started doing photography with his mobile phone; he captured anything and everything. He later found about the app Picsart along the way which he used to make “some pretty outrageous edits” with all the cool features on the app.
After years of practice and learning, Gus is now carving a niche for himself in editorial and portrait photography.
“These two genres can sometimes be combined in the finest ways and allow me to do the kind of experimentation and evolution that I want to be seen in my portrayal of certain subjects,” he told Kuulpeeps.
As someone who focuses on creating “out of the box” pieces of work, Gus’ creative process is largely influenced by colour, which allows him to do what he really loves – trying out new things.
“I absolutely love colour, and occasionally the absence of it. The way colours blend, mix and match, I’d say that I’m always looking for ways to infuse new representations of colour within my work. The process itself is pretty lengthy sometimes but again it’s backed by my love to explore and try out new things.”
“That and my love for Adobe Photoshop help me create certain pieces that I don’t really see around me,” he added.
He, therefore, regards himself as a ‘visual alchemist’, due to the fact that he does not hesitate to mix skill and inspiration from many different places to create a unique piece; just like how a true alchemist is able to create things through a rather magical and surreal process.
Aside from being regarded as a ‘visual alchemist’, Gus’ ability to blends colours has earned him the name ‘light painter’.
“Light painter is a bit of an inside joke between a few friends and I… it’s mainly inspired by the fact that I see myself as a visual artist rather than a photographer (photographer here referring to how Ghanaians traditionally see photographers) as I’m able to visualize scenes and use a blend of colours and techniques to create standout pieces,” he explained.
Moreover, he is inspired by the uprising creative scene in Ghana and how a lot of photographers are going against the norm to create the kind of visuals they would like to see and have represented. Personality-wise, he is influenced by the works of Eugene Shiskin, Josh Sisly and Anny Robert.
In building his craft as an editorial photographer, Gus has worked on a number of editorial projects. However, he highlights his work on faux magazine covers with Ghanaian model Odette Ofosu-Siaw as his most exciting project so far.
“I worked with an amazing team to create our own faux magazine covers based off of renowned magazines like Vogue, I-D, Paper and GQ magazine. It gave us a rather minute sense of the entire editorial process from research to storyboarding to styling down to copywriting. I loved it so much and I felt it necessary as it could be potentially setting the tone for future work to come, whilst allowing us to explore creatively.”
Additionally, Gus has also done some work with Nigerian musician Joeboy and Ghanaian producer, Yung D3mz, whom he regards as one of his favourite people to work with.
While he looks forward to working with many more brands and personalities, Gus has his eye set on a future collaboration with The Weeknd, which he says is his highest aspiration.
“Aside from the fact that I love his music, I think he’s an artist who embodies and encourages change and growth in every era of music that he’s been through and being a part of that in any way would be a dream come true for me,” he explained.
Gus, however, is determined in taking his speciality in editorial photography to the next level.
“I love what’s in store for me and I can’t wait for those supporting this journey to see it. I’m looking forward to my first big editorial publication and to establishing very progressive relationships with a lot of creatives internationally.”
Click on the comment box below and leave us your thoughts. Thank you